7:30 p.m. @ City Hall, Sept. 19th

Why does the City Council race matter so much this year?  Obviously, there is a LOT going on in our city – and the winning candidates will likely  be representing us for 5 years, not 4.*  In that period, councilmembers will be making so many important decisions about growth, traffic, infrastructure, building height limits, pension debt, etc.  You’ll want someone sitting at the dais who represents YOU.

San Mateo neighborhood leaders recognize the importance of this election and have come together to make this CANDIDATES NIGHT happen.  The BHNA is working collaboratively for the first time with the San Mateo United Homeowners Association (the umbrella organization for neighborhood associations throughout our city,) to open this event up to all residents of San Mateo.  So, bring a friend…or two or three!

Our joint efforts included an analysis of the top issues concerning residents, and resulted in five very thorough questions for each of the candidates.  Answers to these questions will certainly help you to get to know those running, and better understand the incumbents as they seek to return to their seats.

Mark your calendar and plan to come to 33 W. 20th Avenue (Council Chambers at City Hall) to attend this informative event – One which is sure to play an important role in your decision-making process.


*This November, a ballot measure will ask if we agree to extend council terms to 5 years on a one-time basis to comply with Senate Bill 415, a state law aimed at increasing voter turnout (by aligning city elections with state & federal elections in even years).



There are 7 candidates running for council.  They are: local small business owner Eric Rodriguez, attorney Joe Goethals, Retired Akzo Nobel Sales Rep Mark De Paula, Printer Robert Newsom, Jr., City of Redwood City employee Charlie Drechsler, Retired NoCal Carpenter’s Union Field Rep Rick Bonilla, and attorney Chelsea Bonini.


You can read more about the candidates, including their Candidates Statements and Statements of Qualifications at:



Can’t get to the meeting, but still interested in seeing it?  Here are some alternate ways to see it:

Check out the live broadcast on the City’s government access channel SMTV:

Cable Channel 27 for Comcast

Channel 26 for Wave

Channel 99 for AT&T customers


Watch live the City’s website at

Watch a replay – The Candidates Night forum will be replayed periodically on the City’s SMTV channel.

For a schedule check out the listings on    

Neighborhood associations (including BHNA) will be provided a link which we can share with you to view at any time.


Caltrain invites residents to a community meeting for the grade separation work which will begin in October. Train tracks will be raised and the road will be slightly lowered, providing east-west street connections at 28th & 31st Avenues.  The hope is that it will also improve traffic congestion, and increase bike and pedestrian safety.  The current Hillsdale train station will be relocated to an elevated site at 28th Avenue.  For project scope and construction schedule, come to the Sept. 13th meeting at 6 p.m. at 2121 S. El Camino Real, Building A, Ste. A100.  For more info on the overall project, go to, or call the community hotline at (650) 508-7726.


Opening the east-west street connections will invariably translate to more folks driving through our neighborhoods via 28th & 31st avenues.  Our May meeting on the subject with Public Works was not promising.  Firstly, they want to see how patterns result, but more importantly, traffic studies don’t amount to much if there is next to no money for improvements.  We all need to advocate for ourselves and get requests in to the new City Council come January that we want and need funds set aside for traffic mitigation due to grade separation impacts as they contemplate their upcoming budget!


The North Block Project at Hillsdale Shopping Center is moving along well, with final erection of steel and the installation of building concrete floors, walls and decks taking place at this time.  Street improvements are also ongoing.  The new traffic circle, located at 31st Avenue and Edison Street (at West Sailer Drive), is expected to reopen to vehicular traffic before mid-September.  That portion of 31st Avenue located between West Sailer Drive and East Sailer Drive is expected to reopen in early November and will remain open until the first of the year, at which time it will once again close until completion of improvements being made to the immediately adjacent roadways, sidewalks and buildings.  The Dining Terrace over 31st Avenue is expected to open to diners during Summer of 2018.  It is still anticipated that the remaining portions of the North Block Project will open to customers Fall of 2018.

Bohannon says they will know “very soon” all of the shops coming in to the north end.

TURN AROUND & GET TALLER – Part IIBHNA Newsletter September 2017

We previously reported that the building height limits measure put in place twice by resident voters will be expiring before we know it.  While the measures created height limits, they also took into consideration planning for beneficial growth.  Whether or not we reinstate the limits is truly an important decision during our current period of rapid growth.  Many residents feel should the subject should be placed in front of voters again when the time comes.  City leaders and planners have held numerous meetings over the past year or so, seeking input regarding our wishes for the future of our city and downtown. If they truly wish to know what resident taxpayers desire, it’s quite reasonable to ask that the building height limits be placed on a ballot as before.  But this won’t happen on its own.  The City Council would decide that, based on resident requests.